As someone who works with young children, you are instrumental in shaping their development. Below are some resources that can help.
Published by the Department of Early Learning, this document describes behaviors and skills that children may demonstrate birth through grade 3 and how parents or early learning professionals can support their healthy development.
Communities today are talking about closing the achievement gap. Often the conversation is focused on K-12 education but evidence of the opportunity gap can be seen in children less than a year old. Racial inequities begin early. Therefore special attention is needed on advancing racial equity in early learning. The Racial Equity Theory of Change is a roadmap to eliminate race as a predictor of success.
In Washington State, Kindergarten teachers observe students through a whole child-assessment in the first few months of the school year. The assessment is part of a program called the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developmental Skills, or WaKIDS. Teachers looks at each child’s developing skills in six areas: social emotional, physical, cognitive, language, literacy, and mathematics. The Characteristics of Children Entering Kindergarten is a document that summarizes what types of things teachers are looking for.
Early Achievers is Washington States Quality Rating and Improvement System. It is a program for licensed child care providers, that offers free coaching and resources to help them provide high-quality care. Providers are rated between levels 2 – 5, and those rated at a 3 – 5 are recognized as having achieved a “Quality Level of Excellence”. Ratings are completed through an on-site evaluation conducted by the University of Washington. The Quality Standards outlines the components of quality.
“Numeracy” is a term that refers to all the mathematics that young students learn including number, operations, and geometry and measurement concepts. This Learning Pathways in Numeracy document was created by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) primarily as a tool to help teachers and parents to understand the role of progressions in developing numeracy skills in children.
Five Protective Factors are the foundation of the Strengthening Families Approach: parental resilience, social connections, concrete support in times of need, knowledge of parenting and child development, and social and emotional competence of children. Research shows when these Protective Factors are well established in a family, the likelihood of child abuse and neglect diminishes. These protective factors are also “promotive” factors that build family strengths and a family environment that promotes optimal child and youth development. Learn more about the protective factors and how to implement them into your practice.
How services providers interact with families is extremely important. Strengthening Families is implemented through small but significant changes in daily practice, supported by shifts at the program level that allow workers to make those changes. A number of tools are available to assess an organizations current practice and implement shifts in practice.
NEAR is term that combines research from the fields of Neuroscience, Epigenetics, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), and Resiliency. The NEAR toolkit outlines how practitioners that work with children and families can incorporate the NEAR science into their work. The toolkit can be downloaded here.
Home visiting programs are services that take place in a client’s home as the primary service delivery strategy. Programs are offered to a variety of families, based on varying qualifying circumstances. We created a list, available here, of all home visiting services in Pierce County. This is a living document and will be updated routinely, so if you know of an organization that offers a service and it’s not on the list, let us know.
Ready, Set, Go! 5210 is a countywide initiative to combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyle choices for children, youth and families. Their mission is to increase physical activity and healthy eating among each of the six sectors (Schools, After School, Early Childhood, Health Care, Workplace, Community) that influence youth and families. By working across sectors they hope to achieve lifestyle and environmental changes that improve the health of children in Pierce County.